Re: written estimate?
More and more contractors are going this route, thinking that their time is worth more than getting the job. This attitude is used by "volume" contractors, as opposed to those of us who prefer to have meaningful relationships with our clients. It is the general consensus among reputable contractors that estimates are always in writing and always free.
If I were you, I'd continue interviewing contractors until you find what suits you best, and that would be free estimates. Yes, before you hire you should check references, license status, insurance and bond status, etc. Lastly, good contractors are ALWAYS busy, so that is also a sign that you are looking in the right direction.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!